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Here Are Some Things Kansas Lawmakers Have Done While Avoiding School Spending Drama

Kansas lawmakers head into the next stretch of this year’s legislative session after advancing bills offering tax breaks to some smaller businesses, compensation to people thrown in prison unjustly and a welcome mat to industrial chicken growers. The bigger, harder questions before them remain unanswered. Since gaveling out on Thursday, they're taking off a few days.

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Crysta Henthorne / KCUR 89.3

Junkie logic brought an addict to the doorsteps of a Topeka woman once convicted of selling cocaine.

The addict was looking to buy, and Kansas’ online database of criminal offenders has a handy geographic search tool that lets users pull up the names, crimes and addresses of people who live within a few miles of their homes.

It’s meant to boost public safety, but the Kansas Sentencing Commission says other consequences come with publishing the past transgressions of nearly 20,000 Kansans.

Sean Sandefur / KMUW/File photo

The Environmental Protection Agency on Wednesday is hosting a listening session in Kansas City on the Trump administration’s proposal to scrap the Obama-era Clean Power Plan.

One of only three scheduled nationwide, the listening session is expected to draw attendees from far away, and nearby.

Stephen Koranda / KPR/File photo

After several teenagers -- some not even from the state -- decided to run for Kansas governor, members of the House voted Tuesday to tighten requirements to run for statewide office. 

Candidates would have to be at least 18 years old and live in Kansas. Lawmakers debated whether to apply the rules to the 2018 election, but decided against that approach.

Republican Rep. Tom Cox says it sets a dangerous precedent to change the rules part way through an election cycle.

The White House / Youtube

Hesston Police Chief Doug Schroeder was among 12 law enforcement officers from across the country who were honored with a Medal of Valor.

President Donald Trump recognized Schroeder and others in a ceremony Tuesday at the White House.

He was honored for his response to a report of an active shooter at the Excel Industries plant in Hesston in February 2015.

Schroeder entered the lawn equipment factory alone and shot and killed the gunman, Cedric Ford, who had already killed three people and wounded 14 others.

Kansas News Service/File photo

Executives pushing the merger of the two largest utility companies in Kansas have told regulators they’ll give in on some customer bill protection and job guarantees.

But the leaders at Great Plains Energy and Westar Energy say promising a five-year moratorium on rate hikes could leave the new, larger company unable to keep step in a fast-changing industry.

Stephen Koranda / Kansas Public Radio/File photo

A Kansas Senate committee has advanced a bill that would prohibit state colleges and universities from infringing potentially offensive speech on campuses.

The Lawrence Journal-World reports the legislation would require colleges and universities to have policies that affirm that students and faculty have a constitutional right to free speech. The institutions also must be committed to giving student and faculty broad latitude to discuss any issue.

Deborah Shaar / KMUW

Friends University in Wichita is offering a path for students in Butler Community College’s cybersecurity program to continue their education.

Nadya Faulx

A leading Kansas LGBT rights group is pushing back against a newly adopted Kansas Republican Party resolution that activists say dehumanizes transgender individuals.

Courtesy photo

Amber Ikeman surprised her friends and family when she quit her day job at a Florida non-profit and moved to Montana. There, she honed her skills as a singer-songwriter and embraced the open, rural landscape.

Nadya Faulx / KMUW

Some of the Republican candidates looking to be Kansas' next governor bluntly criticized the state Supreme Court when asked about education during the first Republican gubernatorial debate

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Commentary

Justin Cary

Cooking With Fire: Crab Cakes

Crab cakes have become a staple in restaurants across the U.S., but it wasn’t that long ago that crab was seen as a difficult and dangerous crustacean that wasn’t worth the time and effort it took to catch them.

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Season 4 of Invisibilia kicks off on KMUW on March 11, 2018. To whet the appetite, we'll be airing Season 3 in the weeks prior as a count-down of sorts beginning February 18.

KMUW Music

  Saturday, February 24

Blues, roots-rock and that hard-to-find element that says “southern”…..Paul Thorn at the Old Settlers Inn. Paul is gritty and graceful and a consummate storyteller.

Album Cover Art

Sunday, February 25

Sunday on Soulsations, inspirational sounds from contemporary gospel artist Jermaine Dolly. For years Dolly has been a back up vocalist for gospel great, Tye Tribett. The Philadelphia native is pursing a solo career with his 2017 debut release, The Dolly Express. 

Take 6 / Facebook

For nearly 35 years, the members of Take 6 have been captivating audiences around the world with their vocal talent.

The group is one of the most celebrated vocal groups in history with 10 Grammy wins, 10 Dove Gospel Music Awards, a Soul Train Award, Jazz Honors and more. The sextet has collaborated with such artists as Stevie Wonder, Al Jarreau, Ella Fitzgerald, The Manhattan Transfer and KD Lang.

Jessie McCall

Portland, Oregon's Fruition has just released its fifth album, Watching It All Fall Apart, a record that ushers in what promises to be a busy year for the band. Currently on a run of headlining dates, the band will take to the road with singer-songwriter Jack Johnson late this spring. According to Kellen Asebroek, Fruition is eager to reach a new group of fans, something you can hear on the expansive new recording, which was produced by the esteemed Tucker Martine (Bill Frisell, Mudhoney, The Decemberists).

The band performs at Barleycorn's Thursday, Feb. 22.

Courtesy photo

Amber Ikeman surprised her friends and family when she quit her day job at a Florida non-profit and moved to Montana. There, she honed her skills as a singer-songwriter and embraced the open, rural landscape.

Noteworthy

Wichita East High School / Facebook

Kansas Students Plan Walkout In Reaction To Recent Shootings

Alayna Nelson, a sophomore at Wichita Northwest High School, grew up hearing stories of repeated mass shootings on the news. “Every single time this happened I always wanted to do something about it,” Nelson said. Now, Nelson and other students in her generation are taking action against gun violence.

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